First-time buyers 'need flexible options'

Posted: 12 Jun 2006 09:54:58 GMT

            Property News - First-time buyers 'need flexible options'

Policy makers have been told that they need to be more imaginative in their attempts to help first-time buyers.

Affordability has long been a concern for those trying to buy their first property, but the problem now appears to be particularly awkward, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

House prices have been rising steadily in 2006 and students are leaving university with increasingly unmanageable debts. Young adults are also finding that they need to be more mobile than ever when looking for a career, which provides yet another headache for those looking forward to homeownership.

Bob Pannell, head of research at the CML, commented: "While homeownership remains a long-term aspiration for the majority, the reality is that for many young people the combination of house prices and student debt is reinforcing a lifestyle choice in favour of renting."

While this is undoubtedly a good thing for investor landlords, the CML hopes that something can be done to make life a little easier for first-time buyers.

A key development in the last few years has been the increasingly prominent role played by the internet when searching for a property. Online searches and private sales over the internet have allowed young and mobile buyers to find properties that would often be impossible to locate when using local estate agents.

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